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Funeral Personalization: 8 Unique Funeral Services We’ve Seen

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When you hear the word funeral, what comes to mind?

You’re likely picturing a somber event with attendees wearing black attire surrounded by bouquets of flowers. While this may be the image for traditional funeral or memorial services, it doesn’t mean your loved one’s service can’t be as one of a kind as the life they lived.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) reports that more and more families are seeking a way to personalize funeral or memorial services to make them unique celebrations of life.  

Funeral personalization can deepen the meaning of your loved one’s tribute to help celebrate the life lived rather than the life lost. For example:

  • A service held under a tent at a favorite golf course for your loved one who was an avid golfer.
  • A service held at a local party center with food, drink and music for your loved one who was always the life of the party.
  • A service framed as four quarters of a football game that closes with music from the Ohio State Marching Band for your loved one who was an OSU fan.
  • A service showcasing the similar characteristics to those of Marvel superheroes for your loved one who was a Marvel fan.

Whether you display personal belongings or show a personalized tribute video, there are endless options for funeral personalization.

Continue reading to learn about eight of the most unique funeral services we have planned here at Busch for families and friends to pay tribute to their loved one. We hope that these past services inspire you as you plan a loved one’s or your future celebration of life.

Busch’s 8 Most Uniquely Planned Funeral and Memorial Services

  1. We were honored to serve a young woman who was very well known for her blogs that urged readers to support small businesses and rescue animals for pets. Our caring staff planned a lovely, private green burial for her friends and family—extremely fitting for her love for nature and all creatures. When Small Business Saturday came around, we held a public tribute by gathering at her college where several colleagues encouraged all guests to honor her legacy by adopting strays, shopping small and supporting local arts.

  2. Our caring Busch staff was honored to plan a service for a retired fire chief. We were able to find an old fire truck with an open area in the back where we put the individual’s casket and drove them to their gravesite, instead of using a traditional hearse.

  3. Busch served an individual who had a boat named after his favorite drink—Canadian Club and Water (CC and water)—and who loved to fish. To personalize their service, we printed out a picture of their boat, and made a display using fishing gear and an empty bottle of Canadian Club next to a rocks glass of cold tea, made to look like the drink they loved.

  4. The son of a family we served was a carpenter who handmade his dad’s urn. After the service, the family decided to walk to the cemetery and upon arrival, honored their Irish roots with a bagpipe player followed by prayers. At the conclusion of the graveside service, the family stayed back to sing old Irish songs to honor their loved one.

  5. A veteran we were serving was part of the group called the Freedom Riders. After the service, their fellow riders lined both sides of the center aisle at the church and did a final salute. Everyone was then escorted by the Freedom Riders to the military cemetery located an hour away. Our caring Busch staff loved getting to see more than 50 motorcycles flying the American flag to honor their loved one while driving down the highway.

  6. One of Busch’s Certified Celebrants held a short and private service for the five grown children of a 90-year-old man who was a huge fan of George Thorogood. To follow their wishes, we closed off the chapel and sat around the open casket. Our celebrant spoke of how their father was their ‘rock’ and gave the children each a unique stone to hold. They took turns recounting how their dad had indeed been their support system their whole lives. The service concluded by playing "Bad to the Bone" and toasting to their father with his favorite whiskey. Each kept their stone but chose to lovingly place the whiskey bottle into the casket before closing it.

  7. A local attorney had gained much respect nationally after helping a gentleman off death row. In honoring his life and his perseverance for justice, our caring staff held his tribute at an art studio with eulogies from his law professor, colleagues, family and a judge. The freed client even gave a very moving homage to this individual. This moment wasn't about death but about the value of life.

  8. An individual was recognized for restoring a boat that resembled the African Queen and could be seen gliding elegantly around the shores of Lake Erie several years ago. When he passed away, his sisters held a memorial at a yacht club with tables full of his nautical memorabilia, navigational instruments, photos, pennants and more. We concluded the service by sounding the steam whistle from his boat (woot-woot!), which brought delight and surprise to all guests.

Check Funeral Personalization Off Your List

Funeral personalization is an important step in planning final arrangements. Download our funeral planning checklist to ensure you are following the necessary steps involved in the planning process.

Download our funeral planning checklist

Amy Boyd-Kirksey
Amy Boyd-Kirksey
Interested in what makes each one of us unique and special. Amy says she is privileged to have the opportunity to help families and friends honor those qualities in their loved one. She has a passion for music and words, and enjoys using these tools to remember and celebrate a life.

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